With Yoenis Cespedes' services secured for 2017 and beyond, the New York Mets can afford to part ways with Jay Bruce.
While the 29-year-old Texas native and former Cincinnati Reds standout started to show signs of life for the Mets late last season, he never really got over as a fan favorite. Bruce got off to a horrible start with New York, going weeks upon weeks without getting into a hot streak.
It was almost too late by the time he hit his groove. Mets fans had already formulated an opinion on him. Bruce was never really embraced by the Citi Field faithful, besides a few fleeting moments in September. Now looking ahead to 2017, the Mets have a glut of talent in the outfield, with Cespedes and Juan Lagares returning. Additionally, New York has Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto to fill the open corner outfield spots for 2017.
With Bruce apparently being the odd man out, Sandy Alderson can start to entertain trades for him. What exactly can the Mets expect to get back for the three-time MLB All-Star? The thing is, he's still young and valuable enough to generate a nice buzz from at least a few teams.
Plenty of franchises could use a durable, power-hitting corner outfielder. We're talking about a guy who averages 31 homers a year, with at least 90 RBIs and 85 runs scored. Realistically, Alderson and the Mets should be able to get more than a bag of balls for him.
Even if he's on the decline, Bruce should be good for a minimum of 25 homeruns -- and a respectable .245 batting average -- in the season ahead. Those kind of numbers should be appealing enough for a potential suitor to deal away a stud prospect or high-level bullpen piece.